Memorial procession route set for fallen Salt River officer - Tucson News Now

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Memorial procession route set for fallen Salt River officer

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Officer Jair Cabrera was hit by gunfire from a person in a car. (Source: SRPD) Officer Jair Cabrera was hit by gunfire from a person in a car. (Source: SRPD)
(Source: Salt River Police Department) (Source: Salt River Police Department)
(Source: Salt River Police Department) (Source: Salt River Police Department)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Phoenix police have released details of a memorial procession planned Friday for a slain Salt River police officer.

Officer Jair Cabrera was shot and killed early Saturday morning by a man investigators said appeared intoxicated.

The shooting happened at the Chevron gas station on Pima and Chaparral roads about 3 a.m. Saturday as the officer tried to pull over the driver of a red Pontiac.

Public visitation for Cabrera is planned for Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at West Rest Haven Mortuary located at 6450 W. Northern Ave. in Glendale.

The memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Christ Church of the Valley (CCV) at 7007 W. Happy Valley Rd. in Peoria.

Immediately following the memorial service, the internment will be at Phoenix Memorial Park and Mortuary at 200 W. Beardsley Rd. in Phoenix.

Drivers in the area are asked to prepare for a closure of eastbound Loop 101 between 75th Avenue and Seventh Street at around 11:30 a.m. The north and southbound Interstate-17 ramps to eastbound Loop 101 also will be closed. Drivers in the area are urged to consider adjusting travel plans between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. and to use alternate routes.

At the conclusion of the funeral service, 67th Avenue is scheduled to be closed between Happy Valley Road and Loop 101 while the procession is approaching and entering eastbound Loop 101 via the 67th Avenue on-ramp.

A criminal complaint filed by the FBI names Elijah Arthur as the shooter who killed Officer Jair Cabrera.

According to the complaint, the FBI used both the surveillance video from the officer's truck as well as the video from the store during their investigation.

Investigators said as Cabrera was trying to pull over the red Pontiac, the passenger opened the door before the car came to a stop and aimed at the officer.

Investigators said as the Pontiac came to a stop, Arthur was already out of the car, holding a rifle in his hands. He pivoted around to the right and stopped to face Cabrera's police vehicle, while positioning the rifle over the roof of the Pontiac. He fired a single shot, hitting Cabrera.

Cabrera was taken to a hospital in Scottsdale where he died within the hour.

The FBI agent who interviewed Arthur after he was arrested said Arthur appeared drunk, smelling of alcohol and with bloodshot eyes.

Cabrera was a seven-year veteran of the police force. 

"Right now the officers feel a loss," said Salt River Police Chief Patrick Melvin. If you can imagine, some of them have been here over 20 years on the department and have never experienced a loss like this before, he continued. 

Melvin described Cabrera as a hard-worker, but also as someone who knew how to bring a smile to coworkers faces during difficult times.

"Right now we're a point of healing. We're at a point of 'Where do we go from here?' And we're at a point of taking care of our fellow brothers and fellow sisters in law enforcement," said Melvin. 

Salt River police spokesman Vicente Cendejas said Cabrera's death marks the first time that an officer in the community's police department was killed in the line of duty.

Police officers from several different agencies are wearing mourning bands across their badges. Some officers and neighbors are leaving messages and flowers at a growing memorial in front of the gas station where the Salt River police officer was gunned down Saturday morning.

Salt River police said donations will be accepted at the Salt River Police Department as well as at any Wells-Fargo Bank under the Jair Cabrera Memorial Fund.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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